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Harlen Page Lovering - 14th Mayor Of Tampa

Harlan Lovering

Born:  June 12, 1843, New Hampshire

Died: August 6, 1924, Tampa, Florida

Term: August 14, 1876 - August 14, 1877

Harlen Page Lovering was born in New Hampshire on June 12, 1843. He arrived in Tampa in 1872 and established a cedar mill to supply wood to his brother, J.P. Lovering, a manager at the Dixon Pencil Company in New Jersey. The mill soon became so successful that its wood was being exported around the world.  Lovering also operated a general store on the corner of Franklin Street in downtown Tampa.

Elected on August 14, 1876, Mayor Lovering worked to revitalize Tampa's business community, increase city revenue, and improve services. The first public school building was completed in 1876, at a cost of $2350, which came from a tax levy of five mills. This building was constructed in part by former City Council member John T. Givens. After his term as mayor, Lovering ran for City Council but was not elected. He returned to his cedar mill, which was destroyed by a fire in 1878. Cedar production then shifted from Tampa to Cedar Key.

Lovering continued working as a grocer, and city directory records show that he also worked as a clerk. He was a member of the Order of Odd Fellows and served as its secretary in 1901. He and his wife, Eliza, had four children. Harlen Page Lovering died in Tampa on August 6, 1924.

Sources for this Biographical Sketch:

Covington, Dr. James W., and Wavering, Debbie Lee, "The Mayors of Tampa: A Brief Administrative History," Tampa, FL: University of Tampa, 1987.

Grismer, Karl H., Tampa: A History of the City and the Tampa Bay Region of Florida, St. Petersburg Printing Company, FL, 1950.

Robinson, Ernest L., History of Hillsborough County, Florida: Narrative and Biographical, The Record Company, St. Augustine, FL, 1928.

1878, Florida Peninsula Index, Florida Heritage Project

Tampa Council Minutes, City of Tampa Archives, Tampa, FL

January 1, 1857 - October 2, 1891, Microfilm Roll # 1